Reporters Often Killed For Exposing Rainforest Destruction
Journalists who report acts of environmental destruction are risking their lives. According to Global Witness, 212 environmentalists were murdered worldwide in 2019 — the deadliest year so far.
Tropical forests are one of the major battlegrounds, which prompted The Pulitzer Center to create the Rainforest Journalism Fund (RJF), a five-year, $5.5 million initiative focused on raising public awareness of the urgent environmental issues facing the world’s tropical forests. Launched in 2018, RJF hopes to raise awareness of the urgent issues facing the world’s tropical rainforests. It is building local capacity for quality, independent journalism in the Amazon, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia—three hotspots for deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
The Rainforest Journalism Fund represents a major investment in international environmental and climate reporting, with plans to support nearly 200 original reporting projects along with annual regional conferences designed to raise the level of reporting on global rainforest issues such as deforestation and climate change.
“The work of local journalists is extremely important for Indigenous communities,” said Kathrin Wessendorf, head of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA). “Each Indigenous community has its own language, and only community reporters can report in that language,” she said. “They also know how best to approach the community to spread the message.”
The Pulitzer Center invites proposals for projects that focus on the tropical forests’ role in the overall climate equation and weather patterns, deforestation drivers, and solutions to halt deforestation. The Rainforest Journalism Fund will support nearly 200 original reporting projects over the five-year duration of the Fund, along with annual regional conferences designed to raise the level of reporting on global tropical rainforest.
“Forest loss is often driven by illegal activities and executed with impunity,” said Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment. “Global supply chains often provide the cash flows behind these activities. To counter the detrimental ongoing deforestation we need more transparency and we need quality journalism. “I am thankful that Pulitzer Center, a renowned institution with a long track record of supporting state-of-the-art journalism on under-covered issues, will have full editorial control over funds and allocations, supported by advisory committees consisting of distinguished journalists.”
Read The Full Story About The Rainforest Journalism Fund